Ram’s Retractable Side Step Patent

June 7th, 2024 by

Miami Lakes Automall 2024 Ram Patent

Photo Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

For some years now, pickup truck manufacturers have been offering multiple types of systems to make accessing the cargo bed of a pickup simpler. Indeed, with trucks getting ever larger, these systems are becoming more necessary. Ram is working on an all-new system, according to a patent application filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on May 23, 2024, and first submitted by Ram in November 2022. The application concerns a deployable step that pivots toward the rear wheels of a pickup truck, which makes accessing the front portion of the cargo bed easier.

Reasons for the Side Step Invention

Ram pickup trucks are known to have convenient cargo beds for hauling and storing items, such as tools, supplies, luggage, and equipment. Even though the cargo beds of such trucks often possess tailgates that can be opened for better access, it is frequently desirable to place items into the bed or to remove them without opening the tailgate; that is to say, by lifting the items over the side walls due to the awkwardness of opening the tailgate. 

However, in some cases, lifting items over the side walls is challenging. For example, in larger pickup trucks, the beds are positioned higher or the walls of the cargo bed have a larger vertical dimension. Given such situations, it might be useful to have an improved view into the cargo bed without having to open the tailgate. 

Mechanical Specifications

Sources indicate that the side step would pivot out from a mounting point just ahead of the rear wheels. A spring would be utilized to deploy the step, while a latching mechanism would hold it in place when in use. Ford offered a similar solution by relying on the rear bumper of a pickup truck. The application describes the step as adapted to a truck’s trailer hitch. An arm swings down from the mounting point when the step is in use. 

The rest of the time, the step could be stored against the bumper so it does not obstruct anything. Moreover, in trucks equipped with air suspension, the step could also be connected to an onboard controller that would instruct the rear suspension to lower when the step is in use. The pickup would then lower, just as a city bus does to bring the first step closer to the ground.

On the other hand, Ram’s invention has distinct advantages over the step provided by its automotive rival. While Ford’s step would be integrated with the rear bumper, it does not account for items located at the front of a cargo bed that can be tough to reach in contemporary pickups. Additionally, Ram trucks boast the RamBox cargo management system. For typical pickup trucks, a cargo management system usually consists of compartments built into the bed to supply extra storage. 

For trucks like the Ram 1500 that are equipped with the RamBox cargo management system, it consists of deep, spacious, lockable compartments built right into each wall of the bed. The RamBox has a cargo bed divider and extender, as well as adjustable tie-down cleats for securing cargo. A deployable side step would likely function well with the RamBox by increasing its versatile utility.

Take a Step Up with Ram Trucks at Miami Lakes Automall!

It is worth noting that nothing in the patent guarantees this feature will ever appear on Ram pickup trucks. Multiple patents are secured by automakers to simply protect an idea, one that might never see the light of day. That said, we should not be surprised to see this step show up on the Ram 1500 or the all-new Ramcharger plug-in hybrid in the not-too-distant future. 

Are you excited about getting a new Ram pickup? So are we. At Miami Lakes Automall, we are more than excited to help our customers; we are thrilled. If you are searching for a new option to buy or lease, please take a look at our new vehicle inventory or our quality pre-owned vehicles.

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